"Transforming drug discovery – the pathway to innovation" with Prof Chas Bountra & Dr Wen Hwa Lee

Past Event

01 February 2018, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

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Immense ingenuity and unprecedented levels of funding are available for drug discovery, yet pharmaceutical research and development is failing to produce the medicines society requires. New organisational models of drug discovery are clearly needed, and members of the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines will contend that open science approaches represent a promising path forward by addressing both scientific and organisational bottlenecks.

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About the speakers

Professor Chas Bountra is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines; Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine; Chief Scientist at the Structural Genomics Consortium; and Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, London. Chas is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes.

Professor Bountra has served on numerous Scientific Advisory Boards (including Spinifex, Grunenthal, Takeda, Caddick, IMI EPAD, UK Dementia Discovery Fund), and on several charitable, government and VC translational funding committees (including Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery). Prior to his return to Oxford, Professor Bountra was Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. He was involved in the identification of more than 40 clinical candidates for many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases, several of which generated positive clinical POCs, progressed into late stage development and one of which was marketed.

Dr Wen Hwa Lee is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines and the director of the Disease Foundations Network programme at the Structural Genomics Consortium.

Dr Lee’s training included Biology, Molecular and Structural Biology, Protein Crystallography, Computational Biology and Drug Discovery, gathered in diverse places such as Brazil (UNICAMP and LNLS), US (Scripps Research Institute in San Diego) and France (Paris V) in his pursuit of fundamental changes in society through science.

Dr Lee joined the SGC at its inception in 2004 and has since been involved in the planning of scientific strategies, communications, and alliances with external collaborators and partners. He has been working with multiple institutions to facilitate the exchange of expertise and establishment of joint research programmes with SGC’s international partners, including charities, academia, industry and government agencies – always exploring the potentials of Open Access models. Most recently, Lee co-led the establishment of a new SGC laboratory in Brazil – the first node of an international effort focused on novel kinases. He is now committed to creating new frameworks and partnerships with patient and disease foundations to bridge the basic science to patient-driven drug discovery efforts.